New Perler Bead Art!

Hey everyone! I know I’m in the middle of writing the anime retrospective, but I haven’t been able to work on it as much as I wanted to. I was thinking of posting it a little late this week, but seeing as it’s Thursday and I still have a lot of the next part to write, I’m going to take some extra time and post it next week instead. So this week I’ll show new Perler bead projects I’ve done over the past couple of months.

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Up until this point, I’ve just made Perler bead stuff with no real function other than decoration. I wanted to try making a keychain, so I made the big key from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and stuck it on a key ring. One of my coworkers is really supportive of my Perler bead projects, so I made him one, too. And then since I was on a roll, I made a regular key and a treasure chest to make one of those keychains that have multiple charms attached. It probably would have worked out better if they were smaller, but he seems to like them enough and hasn’t had any problems with it breaking. I haven’t had a problem with it either, which is good considering I’d like to make more types of keychains or maybe pins to sell one day.

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One of my favorite YouTubers started a let’s play of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga and for whatever reason, I wanted to make some Perler bead art of Mario and Luigi. Kind of weird how the first Perler bead art of two of the most famous video game characters I made was from a game I’ve never even played. But look! Doesn’t it look like Mario is breakdancing? Both of them have so much energy in this game; I’ve never seen them so active.

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I also made Yoshi and Baby Mario from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. I’ve seen this Perler art a lot online, and I always intended it to be one of my first projects. I don’t know why I waited this long, but I’m glad I finally made it. It’s one of my favorites; the beads fused easily, it’s colorful, and the beads remained about the same size after ironing. Usually some close up more than others.

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I made another one of my coworkers a Princess Kenny Perler art from South Park. This one took a while; in addition to being pretty big and not having a sprite sheet to work off of, I needed to order more yellow beads from the Perler website (why were none in stores?), which takes a little while to deliver. But I finally did it, and it came out pretty good! At six standard pegboards, this is definitely one of the biggest pieces I’ve made. Since I had no sprite sheet to work off of, I found an image of Princess Kenny and used a free online program to layer a grid on top of it (sorry, I don’t remember what program it was). I made it so that each section in the grid was usually small enough for one color to fill it up, making it easy to place beads on the pegboard. Sometimes two colors shared a section, and when that happened I just used whatever color was more dominant.

Since I usually have some difficulty ironing bigger projects, I tried something new and ironed two pegboards’ worth of beads at a time instead of the whole set at once. This seemed to work pretty well. After, I ironed the bigger pieces together until they formed the entire thing. It worked fairly well, but it was a little difficult lining up the beads. They shrink a little when they’re ironed, and lining up separate pieces that have already been ironed was a little tricky. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the places where I ironed the bigger pieces together is a little more noticeable. It was a little distracting for me, but my coworker loved it, so I guess it’s not a big deal.

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And finally, I have this behemoth of a project. Samus Aran, from Super Metroid. Using eight pegboards, this was my biggest and most ambitious project to date. I used the sprite from the ending of Super Metroid, only I recolored it to Samus’ more familiar Varia Suit (she’s wearing the Gravity Suit in the ending, which has more of a purple and pink color scheme than the Varia’s orange and yellow). It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I had three sprite sheets open: one for Samus from the ending (which is the pose in the image above), one for her gameplay sprites while wearing her Varia Suit, and one while she was wearing her Gravity Suit. I compared the two gameplay sprite sheets and “assigned” Varia suit colors to the Gravity Suit. For example, purple would be orange, pink would be yellow, etc. So when I went back to the sprite sheet for the ending, I just replaced the Gravity Suit colors with Varia suit ones until I constructed the whole project. I hope that made sense. I’m not sure how much sense it makes without some kind of drawing. :p

This project took a long time. I also had to locate more brown beads, which I was so lucky to find in a Michaels. I had ordered the yellow beads for Princess Kenny shortly before and I didn’t want to have to order beads again. The beads themselves aren’t expensive, but the shipping isn’t really worth it if you just want one color, so I usually like to wait until I’m low on several colors before ordering online. Anyway, it was definitely one of the best looking projects I’ve done.

However, I knew right away ironing was going to be a bitch. I was hoping since there were a lot of “appendages,” the ironing process might have gone a little more smoothly.

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It didn’t.

As you can tell, large chunks of the piece just wouldn’t stay together. I tried a few times to iron in the missing pieces, but it wasn’t working. The new beads I need to put in are bigger than the spaces I need to put them. Admittedly, this is one of the reasons I haven’t been working on Perler stuff lately. Samus was laying on my dining room table, taking up all my pegboards, for about a month. I knew this was a lost project, and I didn’t want to go back to face the facts. Ultimately, after my final attempt at salvaging it, I said fuck it. I didn’t throw it out; this piece used a lot of beads that I didn’t want to waste, and I may feel like returning to it again one day. But as of now I gave up on it. I’d like to start from scratch another time, but for now I think I’m done with big projects for a while. Ironing is just too unpredictable for big projects, at least for my level of experience.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the post. Hopefully I’ll have the rest of the anime retrospective for next week. Have a good day! 🙂

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